The End of the Innocence: Defective Products and Child Injuries
Product liability cases can arise from any number of defective products, including products intended for children. Tragically, these defective products can cause serious harm and even death to the most innocent of victims, from babies and toddlers to pre-teens and teenagers. At the Charpentier Law Firm in Melbourne, defective toys and other products that cause child injuries are taken extremely seriously by our seasoned legal professionals. We build the strongest cases possible on behalf of these young victims so that we can give them and their families the powerful voice they deserve.
What does “product liability” mean?
Product liability refers to the area of law concerning products that contain flaws which make them unreasonably and unforeseeably dangerous even when used exactly as intended. Consumers who are injured by such flaws have the right to seek compensation for their injuries by filing a product liability lawsuit against any or all parties involved in the design, manufacture, or marketing of the product, depending on the nature of the flaw that caused the injury.
What types of children’s products are commonly defective?
For the most part, children’s products are tested before they are made commercially available and reasonably safe to use for their intended purpose. Unfortunately, quality control is sometimes trumped by a company’s eagerness to get a toy or other product on the shelves.
Each year, hundreds of products that are used by children are voluntarily recalled by their manufacturers due to potentially dangerous defects. Sadly, some products are recalled only after they have been linked to child injuries. Commonly recalled products include:
- Toys, especially those with small or detachable parts, as well as those that produce heat or have parts that could wrap around a child’s neck and cause strangulation
- Bicycles and bicycle helmets
- Cribs, especially those with mechanisms that could cause a child’s fingers to get caught and pinched
- Car seats
- Pajamas and other clothing that is highly inflammable
- Medications, both those marketed as children’s medicines and those marketed as having child resistant packaging
- Toys made with lead paint (as some toys produced in other countries continue to be)
- High chairs
- Children’s scissors and similar “child-safe” tools and utensils
- Food products that are tainted
- Batting helmets, football pads, and other sports equipment designed to protect children from injury
What does “strict liability” mean?
In product liability cases, the doctrine of “strict liability” generally comes into play. This means that our personal injury attorneys are not obliged to identify or provide evidence of a specific act of negligence on behalf of the party or parties responsible for the defective product. Rather, the presence of the defect is sufficient evidence in and of itself. The success of a product liability claim filed on behalf of your child rests on our ability to demonstrate:
- The product did indeed contain a flaw that made it dangerous when used for its intended purpose
- The product was being used for its intended purpose at the time of the injury
- The injury resulted in losses and expenses that would not have been sustained if not for the defective product
If your child has been injured by a defective product, we encourage you to contact our personal injury law firm today to arrange for an evaluation of your case.